Title

Ital (eye'-tal): of or from the earth; vital; life giving; natural.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Lesson in the Circle of Life

After another wonderful Saturday spent at our favorite Farm Market, JoJo's , we returned home, our bags laden with fresh goodness and our bellies full of sweet fruit juice. While Mo finished up his lively conversation with our Rasta cabbie, Joshy, Shine discovered a caterpillar attempting to climb up the steps of our building. He was immediately infatuated. "Mommy, Mommy, look a caterpillar!" he exclaimed. I walked over to squat down next to him. We admired his tiny red head, his many legs as well as his long black spines. Shine asked why he was trying to climb up the steps and giggled at the thought of a caterpillar taking up residence in our building. I suggested we look for a nice leaf for him and move him to a more caterpillar friendly part of yard. Shine agreed and jumped up to find the perfect leaf. He came running back with a tiny dried up thing which he assured me the caterpillar would love. We then proceeded to encourage him on board. Once on the leaf, we picked out a nice spot under one of the mango trees that we would have surely liked if we were caterpillars. It had a nice patch of grass, some dirt, some Jamaican heather as well as a few small leafy plants. Perfect we thought and we settled in to watch the caterpillar settle in. We watched him explore a few blades of grass, mosey over a leaf and crawl across some dirt. He certainly seemed to be enjoying his new home and Shine was ever engrossed in watching his every move.

Not wanting Mo to miss out on the spectacular caterpillar watching, Shine rushed over to the other part of the yard where Mo was engrossed in his own activity...mango picking. "Daddy come look at our caterpillar!", for now it had become family. We made our way back over to caterpillar paradise only to discover that the little guy was not where we last left him...on a blade of grass. Shine and I carefully brushed through the leaves looking for him when suddenly Mo says, "Hey look at that lizard on the plant, he's got a fly in his mouth! That's cool!" Shine looked up at the plant only to exclaim in horror, "That's the caterpillar!" Tears instantly welled up in his eyes as we watched the lizard gobble down the last bit of his friend. Next, "But why would the lizard eat the caterpillar?" between sniffles and tears. "Well, it's all about the circle of life, Shine. Like on the Lion King movie," I explained. There was a brief diversion as Shine recounted his favorite parts of movie and then, "But why do lizards eat bugs and caterpillars?" Mo tried, "Things in life move in cycles and that's what makes life beautiful. For the lizard to eat the caterpillar and the caterpillar to give his life to the lizard, well that's beauty. Now the lizard has a full belly and can go on living a happy lizard life." I don't know if Shine agreed or not. He was still pretty bummed about the loss of his friend, but by the time I came back from fetching the camera, he had moved on to lizard watching. "Now what's he doing?," he asked. "What's he looking at? Why is he on the plant? What else do lizards eat? Do they make any noise?..."

Full Belly
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Having grown up surrounded by nature, I remember watching all kinds of insects and animals and being fascinated with their lives. I'm glad that Shine is able to experience these unscripted scenes. He will make so many discoveries and I'm sure he will have deep thoughts about what he is observing. I'm excited for him...

And to top it off, there is a full moon tonight which we watched rise over the mountains reminding us again of life's constant cycles. More fullness, more life, more love, more peace...

Full Moon


4 comments:

brooklyn said...

wow.. what a great story!! and what a great experience for Shine. sounds like you all are in a very good place! beautiful lizard! thanks for sharing! :*)

Rae said...

you're welcome! thanks for reading along! i just remember the countless days we would spend down in the creek looking fossils and catching frogs and having adventures. now shine can have similar memories!

Anonymous said...

Corey Rae, I've been keeping up with your posts since you started this wonderful blog and I just have to say you are such a giving, beautiful, lively individual. You and Mo are bringing such depth and sunshine to your kids and to your surroundings. I'm fortunate to have you as my friend. Thanks for sharing your thoughts/experiences. Look forward to more. Love, Sara O.

Rae said...

Sara, I'm humbled. Thank you so much. YOU inspire ME! I long to sit and have coffee with you and catch up. It's been so long. How did your last art exhibit go? I'm anxious to immerse myself in the art scene happening here. I think you would really dig it too. All the best. One love...